In the struggle for sales that is at the heart of every start-up, Alithias Inc. has been helped by a surprising number of much bigger companies.
At least seven established companies in Wisconsin have funded beta testing or become early customers of the Milwaukee maker of health care price and quality information software programs. As a result, Alithias has been able to develop its software more quickly, said Ross Bjella, the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer.
“We got good input on product development, so we made fewer mistakes,” Bjella said.
After three years in business, Bjella said Alithias is on track to register more than $200,000 in sales this year from a growing list of customers that includes Bemis Manufacturing, Menasha Corp., Sargento Food Inc. and Serigraph Inc.
To get the attention of big companies, Bjella has leveraged personal connections, made cold calls and told Alithias’ story to as many people as possible.